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Honda Pilot Brake Problems

tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
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SUVs and Smart Shopper


  • Is anyone else experiencing problems with braking and their Pilots? My daughter's 2005 Pilot has started sudden and violent braking on its own, a very unnerving and dangerous experience.

    I have seen this problem reported on some other complaint sites, but Honda denies there is any problem.

  • Hi Cathie,

    Mid-summer I experienced the same thing driving with my two children. My husband didn't think there was anything wrong until recently he was driving and it happened to him as well. Have you found any further information regarding this braking problem. If I find anything out I will be in contact.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    I think it is due to faulty VSC that brakes on its own.
  • Hello,

    I have experiences the same problem twice over the past few months and can not seem to find a good answer on what is causing this. It's almost as if I were slamming on the brakes or the car is braking on its own. Have you received any good insight on this?

  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Posts: 1,207
    Nowadays cars are having lots of things are in computer controlled. When the computer goes crazy or hang or software failure, imagine what happens to your car's handling.

    haven't you experienced your home computer freeze?
  • dulesdules Posts: 37

    I saw this on Car Talk's forum, the person there did get some resolution from Honda, they admitted to the problem, fixed it and gave them a loaner until the car was fixed.

    I am curious to know what you all are being told by dealers/mechanics and if there's any good, prescribed fix.

    We *just* bought a 2005 EX this weekend, with 74K miles, one owner, well serviced and Honda certified. I would never have bought if I had found these problems before - good grief. Hoping we don't have this problem but wondering exactly what to tell the dealer to look for if we do. :(

    Good luck to all,
  • donkindonkin Posts: 2
    I just joined this forum and I have noticed a lot of."honda tells me nothing is wrong", etc. Well in my experience, honda can never get right. I had 4 problems with my 06 PILOT which was in the shop a total of 9 times and honda never fixed a thing. Well with 2 months left on warranty, I contacted an attorney and he wrote a letter stating what legal action, lemon law, etc., we would take if car not fixed this trip. Copy of letter to honda Hdqtrs, and state attorney general. Guess what happened, keep in mind auto was a 2006, low and behold, the cheif mehanic found 4 service bulletins dated april - june, 06 which described my problems perfectly. Four weeks letter, all fixed and car ran better than new. Try it, you might get satisfaction.
  • That sounds like more of a problem with the place you were taking your car than with Honda. Even dealers are not "Honda."
  • donkindonkin Posts: 2
    You got that one correct. However dealer is one of if not the best rated in the area.
  • I just saw your post about the problems with your 06 Pilot and I was wondering what those problems were. I'm thinking of buying a used 06 Pilot and was curious if these problems were already "addressed" or if this is something I may have to deal with. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • I have my car in the shop, 68K miles, I need new brake pads but they are telling me I need new rotors as well (front). My brother has an Odyssey and he says he has never had to replace his rotors, and his van has 125K on it. I realize driving styles may impace wear and tear. How can I make sure I do in fact need them? I have heard so many different stories. What questions should I ask? Thanks!
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Are the rotors warped?

    If so, why can't they be turned?

    What is the thickness of the rotor?

    What is the minimun thickness specification?
  • Thanks for the reply.

    They said it exceeded the minimum thickness specifications? Yeah sure sounds good, except I have no idea what that specficiation is. :)
  • esemesem Posts: 11
    Have you taken it to a different shop to get another opinion?

    Minimum thickness reasoning is good to get it changed but how do you know they are telling you the right measurements?
  • I have a 2005 Honda Pilot with about 95,000 miles. I started hearing a grinding noise from the left front brake when braking. I replaced the front brake pads and rotors with Honda parts. After the brakes gets hot I hear it again. I replaced the front pads again thinking maybe I got bad pads. The noise is still there. Any ideas?

  • Hi There-
    I have an '08 Pilot EX 4WD with 26K. Purchased used in December. Car runs great. The only problem(s) I have noticed- is the brakes tend to make alot of noise (not squeak/squeal)- but more of a clunk/creak when pressed- I hear it more when I shift from Reverse to Drive and letting the foot off- you can hear it somewhat when applying in normal drive conditions. Have not taken it to the dealer- but the local shop we use inspects and test drives every time I bring it in for service and they indicate brakes are fine.

    I did notice back in January the first time I took it for wash- that the entire brake (?suspension) system seem to creak/groan and generally were quite grabby after pulling out of the car wash. My assumption is the brakes are still quite wet after the wash- seems to be a regular pattern with the car wash- again not sure its related.

    Any thoughts?
  • main7main7 Posts: 8
    Same thing here. About two months ago my wife and son were nearly rear ended on a busy highway because her 2005 Honda Pilot came to an abrupt stop.

    I had it checked out and the computer showed two brake system malfunctions but, no repair was recommended or done due to everything being okay now.

    Honda America refuses to do anything since the local dealer doesn't recommend anything be done.

    I contacted a local tv station's trouble shooter who made a call to the dealership and they immediately called back and were very interested in my problem but have yet to call with any solution. I will try to keep you posted.

    You are the first other I have found with the same problem.


  • main7main7 Posts: 8
    I have had my computer freeze many times but, never did it almost get me killed.
  • mine too... AND never did it try to kill others!
  • main7main7 Posts: 8

    I would like to know if you ever got any kind of action out of Honda on the braking problem and what the conclusion was as to what caused it. If it was fixed did they charge you? Mine is out of warranty so the cost will be of concern to me.

    If you never got any kind of satisfactory response from Honda, maybe we all can by keeping in contact and sharing info with each other. Right now I am waiting on a response from a complaint I filed with the NHTSA and am in contact with the Federal Trade Commission.


  • main7main7 Posts: 8

    I would like to know if you ever got any kind of action out of Honda on the braking problem and what the conclusion was as to what caused it. If it was fixed did they charge you? Mine is out of warranty so the cost will be of concern to me.

    If you never got any kind of satisfactory response from Honda, maybe we all can by keeping in contact and sharing info with each other. Right now I am waiting on a response from a complaint I filed with the NHTSA and am in contact with the Federal Trade Commission.


  • I bought a brand new 2010 pilot EX on 3/13/2010 and the brake suddenly failed within 10MPH after a month. when my wife try to make it full stop at neighbor's house, the brake was very soft and the panel was pushed to the end. the car still kept moving forward. it hit a parked car in front and could not stop. finally it had been stopped by a neighbor's deck. we contacted the Honda dealer. they could not find the problem and did not do any repair work. we file complaint. it is only 490 miles.
    does anyone has the similar experience?
  • nygenenygene Posts: 11
    Did anyone answer this? I have been negotiating a 2011 Lease for Pilot EXL...not quite done...but in my research I am seeing that the braking distance is not rated well, by Edmunds and some others...much worse than the CRV, or the Acrura RDX I am looking at...

    Is this related to your issue...does anyone else have info on this?

  • Of those who have had the problem with their Pilot braking sudenly without pushing the pedal, have you had repairs and if so did they work?

    Honda is saying that (based on their inspection at my house) the ABS/VCS/TZS modulator and the brake switch should be replaced on my Pilot and in doing so the repair should correct my concerns with the vehicle. Anyone have any or all of these repairs done and if so, did it work?

    If anyone has had the sudden braking again after "repair", please please post. I do not want to get into this vehicle with my family ever again if this repair doesn't work.
  • main7main7 Posts: 8
    My wife had this problem in Oct. 2010 and the vehicle has been driven almost not at all (mostly to the Honda dealership where is sat for a month or more). It has sat in our drive way the rest of the time until last week when I had no choice but drive it due to another car problem.

    The dealership (Hennesey Honda in Woodstock Ga.) had the Honda America (?) rep check it out and they were both on the phone with me (speaker phone) and basically said there was nothing that they could do since they could not duplicate the problem. I guess they are waiting on me to duplicate it on the interstate or in an intersection.

    They did recommend to change brake fluid, front /rear pads rotor resurface, change spark plugs and 90k mile check up and a timing belt package for $1869.95 plus tax. They said that the wouldn't even say that this was likely to fix the problem. The last thing that Hennesey said is that they were going to give us a good deal on a used car but, they only have 60 right now and there was nothing that would work for us but they are looking.
  • carfanscarfans Posts: 4
    what year of your pilot? my pilot is 2010 EX model and it has brake problem when it is brand new. Honda could not explain why and they refused to do anything.
  • carfanscarfans Posts: 4
    This is different issue. Pilot has longer braking distance than average I knew that before puchase. but my pilot problem is the brake function failed to cause that accident. but after 20 minutes the brake is back.
  • My Pilot was a 2005 which I purchased used in 2009. I haven't had it for 2 years and am seeing a lot of reports about the same problem everywhere and Honda puts you off for quite some time.
  • main7main7 Posts: 8
    My Pilot is a 2005. I have not heard of the "stopping on it's own without the driver applying the brakes" on any other model other than the 2005.
  • main7main7 Posts: 8
    Yes, they do put you off, it's been since October of 2010 and they have checked it out but done nothing. Honda America denies knowing anything about it although it has been reported to them numerous times. I guess someone has to be seriously injured or worse before it gets their attention.
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